Biggest Christmas ever
Christmas 2016 was the biggest ever (in terms of spend) as shoppers splashed the cash over the festive period.
Shoppers trading up was a key trend last Christmas, with premium own label ranges being up 12.8%. Retailers that are perceived as more value propositions were key winners at a total grocery level, as both the discounters and Iceland saw over 7% growth, driven by more shoppers. These retailers were investing in premium lines, as well as their usual value messages driving trade-ups in store.
Traditional Christmas meats shine
Tradition took hold in Christmas MFP* as shoppers returned to gammon and turkey. Despite the trading up in other key Christmas categories in grocery level, we saw shoppers switch spend to cheaper meats.
Gammon was a clear winner last year, with 10% volume growth driven by switching gains from other key proteins and existing Christmas MFP shoppers adding gammon into their repertoires. Value tier gammon grew ahead of other tiers perhaps as a result of greater promotions.
There was a return to tradition as Turkey saw a large uplift as shoppers perhaps were attracted by the falling prices, particularly in the value tiers. At the same time, convenience continued to see great importance as the growth of turkey was driven by fresh crowns and joints rather than less convenient and slower-to-cook cuts.
Pork also performed well at Christmas, with higher average prices resulting in greater spend from the protein’s existing shoppers. Pork gained predominantly from lamb joints, again feeding into the theme that shoppers looked to value protein options last Christmas.
This year, with inflation back in the market, shoppers may well continue to trade up in some categories yet look at value options in others to keep Christmas shopping spend at a similar level. The increasing need for convenience is likely to continue to be a key theme at Christmas as shoppers look at ways to cut time over the busy period.
*Christmas MFP definition - Fresh Beef, Lamb, Pork Joints, Fresh Poultry Whole Bird, Crown and Joints, Fresh Fish, Fresh Gammon
* 4 w/e 1 January 2017
Helena King, Client Executive, Kantar Worldpanel
Helena.King@kantarworldpanel.com, 020 8967 4165